I’ve seen the term meltdown used to describe Rory McIlroy’s closing holes in Sunday’s dramatic finale to the DP World Tour Championship but it is doing Collin Morikawa a huge disservice.
Rory will be disappointed at playing a leading role all week only to see it slip away on the final five holes and his ripped shirt tells the story of how frustrated he felt afterwards in Dubai.
— bunkered (@BunkeredOnline) November 22, 2021
But credit where it is due to Morikawa. He took a final round which for a while looked like a non-event from being a slow burner to a barnstormer.
At one stage he looked to be drifting out of it and we were starting to do our sums and gauge how high up the leaderboard he would need to finish to end the season as the Race to Dubai winner.
In the end he came through a lull of 18 straight pars from Saturday into Sunday’s final round by finishing the day six under par to claim victory and with it the honour of being the first American to end the year as European Tour number one.
Every professional will tell you the preparation, the practice, the rounds are all just to have that chance of being in contention at the turn on a Sunday afternoon.
There were a few players who found themselves in the hunt at the turn but when Morikawa made his move none of them could keep with him.
There’s no shame in that. That’s how golf works. A wayward shot here or there along with a birdie or two from someone else is all it takes for the leaderboard to change dramatically.
Sometimes you don’t put a foot wrong but the other guy rips it up and starts holing putts all over the place and all you can do is hold your hands up and congratulate him on his win.
Was Rory frustrated? I don’t think there is any doubt he was. Will he bounce back? Of course.
But if we didn’t know it already, Morikawa is the real deal and looks set to become a major presence at the top of big tournaments for years to come.
He is a double major winner, second in the world rankings, has been on the winning side in the Ryder Cup and has ended the year as the European Tour’s number one golfer.
All this has happened since he turned professional in 2019 and he is still only 24. Clearly he is a special talent who looks set to do some spectacular things in the years ahead.
Ko’s hot streak may never be beaten
It may have escaped your attention but Jin Young Ko did something truly spectacular on the LPGA Tour at the weekend.
The South Korean golfer won the CME Group Tour Championship by one shot thanks to a nine-under par 63 in her final round.
Let this sink in.
Jin Young Ko hit 63 consecutive greens in regulation 🤯👏 pic.twitter.com/fM1F4Bwx1v
— LPGA (@LPGA) November 22, 2021
That’s excellent shooting but that is not the impressive bit. She won the tournament thanks to an incredible run of hitting the green in regulation 63 times in a row.
Trust me that is utterly outrageous as you could hit a great shot and see it go awry through no fault of your own – like the ball hitting the pin and bouncing off the green for example.
If I had completed a round by hitting all 18 greens in regulation I would consider it a very good day’s work. If I did it four or five times in a year I’d be over the moon.
But 63 consecutive holes? That’s the realm of fantasy. To put it into context Tiger Woods’ best run is 29 and that was 21 years ago where some would say he was at the peak of his powers on the course.
It’s even more astonishing when you consider Ko had been troubled by a sore wrist which prevented her from doing a full warm-up before each round.
I don’t believe her record will ever be beaten. If it is I hope I’m there to see it.
It’s real – Tiger Woods is back
Two words attached to a three second video on social media.
Making progress pic.twitter.com/sVQkxEHJmq
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) November 21, 2021
That’s all it took to send the golfing media into meltdown on Sunday as Tiger Woods posted the briefest of clips showing him back on the course swinging a club following his car accident.
Forget the fact it was a half wedge hit, his swing looked good and he looked comfortable.
Granted it was only one shot but looking at the divots and it is clear to me he had been out there a while hitting shots.
Most importantly of all it is the message behind it which we should all pay attention to. Tiger is telling the world he’s coming back.
If he was planning on calling it a day there is not a chance he would have posted a video of him hitting a ball again.
I have no idea whether he will be the same player but the fact he’s willing to try is cause for celebration in itself.